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Supporting Free Speech for All on Campus
April 13 @ 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Recent years have seen the values of free speech, diversity, and inclusion in tension with one another in higher education. But these principles can–and must–be harmonized, balanced, and upheld in tandem, for the benefit of the rising generation and the special role of the academy in our democracy. This presentation will draw on the nuanced history of free speech to present a vision of ‘free speech for all’, a belief in both upholding free speech and ensuring that people from all backgrounds have opportunities to speak, be heard, and be respected. The presentation will touch on practical tips for faculty and administrators who confront challenges surrounding speech on campus, in part drawing on PEN America’s Campus Free Speech Guide and its years of experience partnering with and advising colleges on these issues around the country.
Jonathan Friedman, Ph.D., is the director of free expression and education at PEN America, where he oversees advocacy, analysis, and outreach to educational communities and academic institutions. In this role, he drives forward PEN America’s efforts to catalyze a more informed, civic culture through free expression education for the rising generation and the general public. Friedman served as lead author on PEN America’s 2019 report, Chasm in the Classroom: Campus Free Speech in a Divided America, and on the production of its digital Campus Free Speech Guide. He regularly provides commentary on campus free speech issues for national news media, has facilitated workshops, and has conducted advisory meetings with students, faculty, and administrators at dozens of colleges and universities across the United States.